grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm sitting on my bed with my beloved Feisty for the last time. Now at the end of her 19th year, my precious girl has shrunk down to skin and bones. Her fur is dirty. She can't stand up. It's time. I called her aunt Syd over for a visit, called Aunt Daybreak and let her know, broke the news to my mom, and [personal profile] millari  should be here soon. In the morning, we shall take our little gray tiger to the Cat Hospital one last time.

Farewell, my dear friend. If there is something beyond this mortal coil, please give my love to your uncle Dave, and to Miles and Tilda. It's OK if you ignore Stinky.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
Actually several "its". Next weekend, I'm off to DexCon in NJ. This August, I'll be driving down the east coast to visit friends while I head towards DragonCon.

I've been seeing a life coach, which sounds kind of dumb to me, but it's been helpful, because she's helping to articulate what I really care about, and thus to focus on doing what I want to do, rather than what I think I should. I find that I am more relaxed and confident lately, and I'm accomplishing more things that matter to me. (Such as getting to the trainer 4 times a week, getting solar panels on the house, driving out to Kentucky for a family wedding, and spending more time with friends.)

It's ten months since my brother died. I'm still growing my hair out, two months to go, and it's such a nuisance. I don't know how people deal with it.

I started listening to a podcast on the History of Rome on my long drive, and it feels good to be learning about stuff that I didn't want to spend a ton of time reading about, but that I'm glad to know nonetheless. And so far, my favorite historical character has been Hannibal Baraka, so I'm sad he lost.

Millari is living here at the house again for the summer before she moves to Mexico. It's lovely to have her around so much, though her stuff is creating some clutter. The kitty is very happy she's here, and is every more cuddly and purring than otherwise. (She's in the crook of my arm as I type this. I think she sends her felicitations to you, dear reader.)
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This has been a very busy time for me at work.  Last weekend, I went to Morristown NJ to sell stuff and promote the in-the-works Modern Myths NY at DexCon.  It was a bit of a drag driving down and then working late setting up on July 4, but the con itself wasn't too much work and, as I mentioned in my last post, I had some fun.  (I also tried Legend Of The Five Rings, a long-standing RPG that we carry and that I didn't know at all, so I got to have fun and learn something useful. :)

Driving back from the show on Sunday evening, I was feeling really sleepy, so I called a few friends for conversation to keep me awake.  The first couple of folks I tried weren't home, but Grounded was, so I talked to her for 20 minutes.  A nice chat, and while I think I'm still doing some grieving, I definitely feel better about myself and happy to have her as a friend.

In what might qualify as a modern miracle, two different insurance plans of my father's just paid our claims for his care in full.  His care is still shockingly expensive, but now it won't eat up all the family money in only 3-5 years.

I have started walking a couple of days a week in the morning with my friend [alias TBD], which is a good start towards my 'fit into my tux before a friend's wedidng' goal.  Also, it's nice to have nerdy chats about all sorts of stuff.  I don't know who else would tell me about the history of boxing and how it intertwines with racism in America.  Or that the NHL's fan base is growing in the south, possibly because hockey is the last remaining major sport with almost no black players.

Hmmmm, wow, have I really not posted about my college reunion in May?  OK, well, I flew out to Ohio for my 20th reunion from Kenyon College.  I stayed with friends in Granville and drove back and forth to Gambier on Thursday to Saturday.  I got to catch up with a number of my friends from my year in Exeter, which was great.  I went on the 'ghost tour' with Professor Shutt, who is older but still a goofy and charming raconteur.  (Still no word on whether Gunnar is home, but his halberd is. :)   I also spent some time with the Church of Otis crowd, and it was great to see them, particularly [ FVC alias also TBD] and her new boyfriend.  I have known FVC since I was a freshman, and I long had a crush on her (which she knows all about), and she's been an out lesbian all that time, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this guy she's been living with the past year.  Happily, I quite like him.  He's a friendly, grounded, witty person, and a great fit for her.  She's the happiest I have seen her in years.  I would love to see them again soon.

I am slowly migrating my life back into the master bedroom.  The key steps of getting a new bed and sheets etc. has been achieved.  There's more to do, but Feisty approves of bigger bed to share with me.

It's time for me to go, but I'm just going to mention that the fireflies were spectacular this year, and that on the weekend of July first I watched the Easthampton fireworks from my living room window, while the fireflies dancing in the foreground in my backyard.  It was lovely.
grinninfoole: (Default)
•Ran two Magic tournaments at the store this weekend. Was hoping for 32 people to play today, but only got 29. Still our biggest one yet, and I think everyone had a good time.

•I like the new set, Avacyn Restored. It has a lot of great cards, but I think my favorite is the Conjurer's Closet artifact.

•Feisty still sneezes sometimes, which worries me. I want to take her off the steroids altogether, but I don't want her to get plugged up again. She's nearly 14.

•Put $5000 more into the store, to help start up the New York location. I do hope this works out well.

•I have many balls to juggle, and a couple of them have bounced a bit.
-I need to finish and submit a claim for my dad's long term care insurance. (ughh, it's not the hard intellectually, but very difficult emotionally.)
-I need to fine a contractor to come repair the damage to my house.
-I have some work projects that dangle unfinished.
-My home is getting messy
-I'm not losing weight. I need to make more healthy food, go to Weight Watchers, and exercise. I still want to fit into my tux for Bottledgoose's wedding.
-I want to get some new furniture for my house, which is cash I probably don't have.
-Also, just spent 1300 getting brakes etc. fixed on my POS minivan. Probably more than its worth. Should have just unloaded it.
-I can't tell if I'm scarily obsessive about Grounded or not, because I think about her constantly. Not just every day, but all through the day, whenever my brain slips into neutral.

•Reading the new history of AIDS, Tinderbox, and loving it.

•Great TV: the recent run of Fringe, the season finale of the Good Wife, and the new Avatar series, Legend Of Korra. (Amon is totally a puppet of Ko, the Face-Stealer, hence the mask.) the Awake series is growing on me, too.
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Just heard from the vet. Unlikely as it seems, it turns out that Feisty does NOT have cancer. Instead, she just has a sinus infection that has lasted for three months, resisted drugs, and not spread beyond the right side of her nose. She needs new, better anti-biotics and some steroids, but she's basically just got a cold.

Thank you, universe. It's just what I wanted.

EDIT: she did not enjoy the 80 minute ride in the car home, but the little grey tiger is reasonably good spirits, inspecting the house, making sure everything is as it should be. Aside from a little blood from the rhinoscopy, she looks and acts just like normal. I'm so relieved.

Thank you, friends, for sharing my happiness.
grinninfoole: (Default)
This has been a tough week for me, though I'm not sure why. I think it's a combination of:

1) 'Tis the week before Christmas, and folks are shopping. Which is great. The last three days before Xmas have been big days for us in lean years, but the week before that has been strong this year. A sign that the recession is easing up, I hope. BUT, it means that I have been working a lot. 12 hours on Wednesday, 8 hours today, etc.

2) Feisty still sick with whatever sinus problem she's got. She's sort of stable, and is happily purring beside me now, but her breathing is sometimes labored. I had an appointment to take to Worcester (an hour's drive) for an EXPENSIVE MRI tomorrow. Which is not the most convenient time for me.

3) M is away with family in Mexico. I'm glad she went, I love her and her family, etc. She is also one of my bulwarks against depression, so I miss her.

4) My dad is in really bad shape. His blood pressure has been mostly stabilized, but his dementia has drastically worsened, to the point where he has mood swings, fits of rage, and he's asking when his mother is coming to visit. He's going to require 24 hour one to one care, even in a nursing home, which is going to cost a fortune.

5) My mom's heart is breaking from grief. (I think my brother is holding up better, but I know this must be especially hard, since he's right there at ground zero.)

Tonight, I got out of work, decided to go see a movie and eat out. I made a few calls, but no one was free. I wanted to spend time with a friend, but nobody seemed just right: either they were busy, or I knew they were free, but somehow it was too much effort to call them. I found myself starting to cry as I sat in my car. So I called M in Mexico.

Which brings me to the good part of the post–my friends:

1) M was out for dinner in a noisy restaurant with her family, but she spent ten minutes talking to me, helping me figure out what I wanted to do, and being supportive.

I went out to dinner at a place that was hosting a karaoke night in hopes of meeting another friend, but they couldn't make it. But the food was tasty, which perked me up, and I found Tom Lehrer's Christmas Carol, which was just the ticket. I wanted to sing at least once, to push my comfort zone, and respect the event I had gone to. Also, I am a yuletide merchant. :)

2) After that, I went home, and spent some time talking online with usakeh and bottledgoose, both of whom were sweet and helpful and make dates to do fun stuff with me next week. (Muppets!)
And I watched some Leverage with Usakeh and Gigitastic, which made me happy.

Then I took advantage of a scheduling problem at the vet clinic, and moved Feisty's check up to next week, when M is home (so I won't have to do it alone), and swapped shifts so I'm free after Xmas, and BSC doesn't have to get up and work immediately after her overnight shift. Win-win, I think.

3) PLUS, I had a nice evening with sundart and spouse on Monday, with MAMEd and family on Tuesday, and my old friend J called from Atlanta to talk for a while on Tuesday morning. Thank you to all my dear friends, for reaching out to me when I'm dropping the ball on it. I really appreciate your support. Sorry I'm not giving as much back.

4) Feisty may not feel well, but she still loves me, and cuddling with me still makes her happy. YAY!
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Tonight I'm at my parents' house in Andover. Because of the nor'easter that hit last Saturday, kids are out trick or treating now. I'm lounging in the guest room, listening to the door bell. Shortly, I shall head over to Cambridge to celebrate the Feast of Rhotus at the shrine of St. Whatserface. The Pope, the Popess, the Team Captain, and others should be there, too.

Power was out here from Saturday night until Wednesday night. Mom and Dave spent the first night freezing here in the house, and then went to a hotel. Dad collapsed on Sunday evening when they went out to dinner, and was taken to the Lahey Clinic. While the cause isn't clear, Dad apparently has orthostatic hypotension, and he is thus prone to falls, blackouts, fainting spells, and more. He slips in and out of lucidity, and this is only making his failing memory worse.

Dad doesn't grasp the full extent of his condition, in part because he doesn't want to, and in part because he can't recall recent events well enough to make sense of things. It's emotionally challenging to talk to him, because he wants to come home, but Mom and Dave can't deal with his current level of illness, and don't want the stress of waiting on him hand and foot.

We're thus starting to explore options about home nursing care, assisted living facilities, and so forth. At least I have managed to smooth out a few things for Mom and Dave, and talk the staff the at the rehab hospital in Salem (where Dad is now) to give him a private room.

I am really fortunate that I was able to just leave work for a week to come here and help out. Mike G and the rest of the staff have covered for me, and I haven't had to think twice about it. Working for Mike has been fun, challenging, and very low stress. I'm very lucky.

Feisty is taking new medicine, which is apparently helping, though we may still need to take her for expensive tests, etc.

In frivolous news, I quite like the show Castle.
grinninfoole: (Default)

Last night feisty had an encounter with what I presume was an unidentified animal assailant. She got away, but not without a gouge in her hind leg the size of a quarter. She is carrying on as if nothing were wrong, but we took her to the hospital anyway. It seems that she needs sutures and has to be doped up for them and it's a whole thing. Now we are hanging out on mount Sugarloaf waiting for them to call. Sigh. At least it's a lovely day and I'm hanging with M. Still, le sigh. Big thanks to my parents letting me bill it to them so I can pay them back, and not Citibank.

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1) We have a new cat.  Millari has named her Tilda.  She and Feisty have interacted under a doorway, and gotten to know each other's scents.  Tilda seems to want to play, and Feisty is really not sure she's ready for this spunky newcomer.

2) Our garden is yielding fruit.  We have quite a few peaches (not big, not as nice looking as the ones from the industrial farms, but good) that are either ripe or almost ripe on the tree.  We also have grapes coming in.  If you want some, please let us know that you want to come by and get them.  We spent 45 minutes tonight blanching and peeling a couple of dozen for pies....and we still have at least 20 more.  So come and get them!
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In a week, I shall be married.  My friend Rob is in the air right now from London.  Other friends and family will be flying in from all over the US, including Hawaii.  We have gotten most of the preparations done for the wedding, but those last few will fill up the days ahead.  I'm nervous, excited, and struck by just how easy it is to spend lots of money.

And Feisty is getting older.  A few minutes of scrambling after the red dot, and she was happy to sit back and watch.
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It has been quite a while since I last posted. There's a lot on my mind, so I shall just throw stuff at the screen and see what sticks.

1) I'm annoyed with FA because I have been surcharged for an auto accident she was in in February. Now I am facing a significant increase in my insurance premium because of it. I'm very upset, not least because, even though we aren't friends anymore, she may have actively lied and said I was driving when I wasn't even in the car. I hope that this is not true, and that this is simply a mistake by the insurance company and/or the Merit Rating Board. I would like to think better of her.

EDIT: Happily,it is simply a bureaucratic mistake. As I wrote, we aren't friends anymore, but I'm pleased to validate FA's honorable behavior.

2) I have done little on my school work the past couple of weeks. I have had the time, but not the motivation. I find it difficult because, even though this is a project for which I pick the topic in a program in which I chose to be, it still feels somehow imposed upon me. I am not 'owning' this work, so I resist focusing my energies upon it. Which is rather distant prose, I notice. Basically, I don't feel like I'm doing this for me or for MY reasons, but for somene else's. It reminds me of my childhood experiences of grown-ups telling me that I wasn't living up to my potential, which always seemed to mean that I wasn't doing what they wanted me to do as well as they wanted me to do it. These feelings don't fit the facts of my current, adult sitaution, however. I chose to go back for the MA, and the point of the project on which I am stuck is to define for myself what I would like to do and start to do that, in my own way. It is as free of the imposed expectations of others as any situation I shall ever find in my adult life, short of sitting around doing nothing all day (which, as it happens, is how I have been wasting all too much of my time, recently).

3) I really appreciate Sydneycat. Not only is she helping me with some of my comps prep burden, she is also one of the few friends who has paid back money borrowed from me. (Also deserving praise in this respect are Millari and JR.)

4) Last Sunday we had the first session of what I hope shall be a long and fruitful new D&D game set on the Cloth. Lefty and Millari were the only ones who could actually make it, but we all had a good time (though having Lefty xp whore at me after stonewalling me so much in his game seemed irritatingly unfair.) Next time, a fuller PC roster and a bit of a mystery.

5) My brother turns 40 this weekend. It hurts me that he seems so unhappy in his life, though when I spoke with him on my last visit, I asked him if he was living the life he wanted to live, and he said 'pretty much'. I hope so. M suggested that what he really wanted for his birthday was more time with me, so I shall take her suggestion and offer him a vacation together. We last took one about 5 years ago in Montreal, which was pretty fun.

6) My mom seems to have finally physically recovered from her cancer surgeries, and the doctors have found no signs of metastasis or recurrence. She's still so tired all the time, and my dad's inability to deal with his own emotions seems to be exhausting. I wish I could do more to help.

7) Currently, far too much of my life is funded by my parents. This will change soon, and I am wondering what I will cut out. Clearly, a lot comics will have to go, but beyond that, I may well drop one or both of the therapies I do, because while I get a lot out of both, I don't want to do anything which I don't pay for myself. This will mean earning more money, of course, but I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.

8) Millari really is wonderful.


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July 2017



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